By Dialogo February 27, 2009 In Bolivia’s worst national outbreak in a decade, 19 people have died from dengue fever since January and 31,000 people have been affected, official estimates showed. Twelve people died from the disease in the tropical eastern region of Santa Cruz, three others died in central Bolivia, two others in the Andean west and one in the capital city of La Paz, according to an official toll cited by ATB television. A Bolivian national died on arriving in neighboring Peru, and Health Minister Ramiro Tapia said that one additional death brought the overall death toll to 19. A total of 30,870 dengue cases have been counted, 71 percent of them in Santa Cruz, — the region most affected by the outbreak, where authorities have declared a health emergency, Beni, Pando and Cochabamba departments. More than 15,000 troops have been mobilized to assist health teams. Transmitted by the Aedes aegypti, or yellow fever mosquito, dengue is the most widespread tropical disease after malaria. The highly infectious disease causes high fever, headaches and joint pain. Its deadly hemorrhagic variant is much more dangerous than the classic type because it causes violent internal bleeding and swift fluid loss, which can lead to a quick, painful death if not treated in time. Tapia said that 88 confirmed dengue cases were from the hemorrhagic variant. Several countries, including Brazil, Cuba, Paraguay, Venezuela, Spain and Japan have sent help to La Paz in the form of donations, experts or fumigating equipment. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 50 million people worldwide each year are affected by dengue, a disease that has grown in recent decades, in part due to global warming. The virus has made a major comeback on the American continent, where some 900,000 cases were counted in 2007, including 20,000 under the hemorrhagic variant.
The reopening of borders would depend on the COVID-19 situation in Negros Island and Cebu, according to Treñas. “Closing our borders was recommended by our COVID-19-team composed of doctors,” Treñas told Panay News. “Given the existing circumstances in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, and also that in Iloilo City and Province of Iloilo, we are closing our borders to passengers coming in from Iloilo City, Province of Iloilo, and the whole of Panay, including Guimaras effective tonight, 11:59 p.m.,” Leonardia announced yesterday. For his part, Defensor also announced the temporary closure of the seaports of Dumangas and Estancia towns to prevent people from Bacolod City and Negros Occidental from entering the province. It is important that Iloilo city and province coordinate their moves, stressed Defensor. Data from the Department of Health Region 6 showed the four areas having the following number of COVID-19 cases as of July 21: Cebu is currently considered the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. Only cargo ships would be allowed to ensure the unhampered flow of goods. * Bacolod City – 92 (27 indigenous, 65 repatriates) “Due to rising cases, Iloilo City will close its borders for people coming in from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental starting July 22 until further notice,” read part of Mayor Jerry Treñas’ advisory issued yesterday afternoon. Iloilo province’s Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. issued a similar advisory and so was Bacolod City’s Mayor Evelio Leonardia. On July 6 during the meeting of the Western Visayas inter-agency task force on COVID-19, provincial governors of Iloilo, Antique, Capiz, Negros Occidental, and Aklan agreed to relax their respective border controls. (With a report from the Philippine News Agency/PN) ILOILO City – This city, Iloilo province and Bacolod City closed their borders anew as cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Western Visayas soared to 810. “I heard reports nga there’s a developing situation in Negros or Bacolod,” he said. Like Treñas, Defensor won’t say for certain when the province’s borders with Bacolod City and Negros Occidental would reopen. * Iloilo province – 260 (67 indigenous, 198 repatriates) He said Galvez told him to “just sustain your stringent protocols to reduce your active cases to a manageable level”, in response to his earlier appeal to Galvez and other key officials of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to retain the modified general community quarantine status of Bacolod from July 16 to 31. He, however, made it clear that the “movement of essential goods and cargoes will remain unhampered.” He also ordered Public Safety and Transportation Management Office head Jeck Conlu to inform all shipping companies serving the Iloilo-Bacolod/Negros sea lane about the closure. Treñas said he got in touch with Defensor, Leonardia, Negros Occidental’s Gov. Jose Eugenio Lacson, Guimaras’ Gov. Samuel Gumarin, Antique’s Gov. Rhodora Cadiao, Capiz’s Gov. Evan Esteban Contreras, and Aklan’s Gov. Florencio Miraflores about the border closure. Bacolod’s Leonardia said the city government is adhering to the recommendation of Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19, to sustain stringent protocols in addressing the health crisis. * Iloilo City – 98 (50 indigenous, 48 repatriates) In the whole Western Visayas, the 810 cases were made up of 607 repatriates and 203 indigenous cases. It was just July 7 when people from within Western Visayas could once again freely enter Iloilo province. Defensor lifted the border restrictions he imposed on July 1. * Negros Occidental – 272 (32 indigenous, 240 repatriates)